Panthers' David Tepper Could Be Faced With Decision On Coach, GM
NFL Panthers Owner David Tepper may not "fire head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney before the season ends," but with the team 5-7 and likely to miss the playoffs again, "surely he's thinking even harder now about whether he wants them to continue" in '20, according to Scott Fowler of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. During yesterday's 29-21 loss to the Redskins, there were "boos again at Bank of America Stadium, and empty seats, and a home team that started off on fire and ended up in ashes." The Panthers started last year 6-2 and finished 7-9, and they started this year 4-2. As Tepper "mentioned recently, unprompted, they have never had two straight winning seasons in a 25-year history" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/2). Fowler wrote Tepper has been "refreshingly candid about what he's thinking, what he wants and what he can't stand (losing)." Tepper is an "extroverted leader who inspires confidence and is about to make another series of changes," many of which are "necessary for a team that has gone [12-16] since he took over and was imploding on the business side, to use Tepper's blunt description" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/28).
FINAL STRAW? In Greensboro, Ed Hardin writes the Panthers' "mind-numbing loss" to the Redskins "might've been the final act" for Rivera. Hardin: "Games like this get coaches fired." The final minutes of the game were "played in a stadium half-filled with people wearing burgundy jerseys." The team is "looking at a long climb back to respectability." As a former Steelers minority owner, Tepper "knows what a winning franchise looks like." The team has "lost its way, and this was one of the worst days" it has endured. Hardin: "This is what the end looks like" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 12/2). PFT's Mike Florio said Tepper "did not buy the team because he felt like it was his lifelong ambition to employ" Rivera and Hurney. Florio: "I think change is coming, and yesterday's game is the kind of thing that is going to speak to that" ("PFT," NBCSN, 12/2).